Get to know a new fashion brand in the metaverse: Auroboros. Designed by Paula Sello and Alissa Aulbekova in London, Auroboros have debuted their new ready-to-wear collection as the first brand to ever present a digital-only collection at a major fashion week. Spanish DJ, model and stylist Sita Abellan, known for her colourful, chaotic Instagram, digitally styled the 14 piece collection, entitled ‘Biomimicry.’ The pieces in the collection unfurl and move as if they were alive; crystalline flowers bloom from a spiked headpiece, the fronds of a dress drift around like coral: ‘Biomimicry' reads as a cross between Iris van Herpen and Alexander McQueen's apocalyptic spectacle 'Plato’s Atlantis.'
Auroboros, whose name takes inspiration from the 'ouroboros,' an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail, focus on the marriage of science and technology via the creation of haute couture and ready-to-wear. The brand is currently housed within the Sarabande Foundation (the charitable foundation set up by the late fashion designer Lee Alexander McQueen); an incubator which has supported designers including Craig Green, Molly Goddard and Bianca Saunders.
Their new collection was presented as part of the DiscoveryLAB (supported by the British Fashion Council) and in partnership with the Institute of Digital Fashion (founded during the pandemic last year, the institute describes itself as 'an emblem for change in a broken system'). Co-founded by Catty Tay and Leanne Elliott Young, the Institute of Digital Platform has played a seminal role in innovating the fashion industry with technology-driven solutions.
Both Tay and Young have pioneered an IRL x URL future which is sustainable and inclusive, challenging the traditionally held values of the elitist fashion system which unless deterred, will ultimately lead to the industry's demise. Creative maverick Young previously founded CommuneEast, which quickly became the go-to for digital activations for brands looking to evolve their communications for the better. Highlights included creating custom AR filters for the likes of Liam Hodges and Art School. Tay, a digital designer, founded the digital design studo DIGI-GXL which is a unique hub for 'womxn, intersex, trans folk & non-binary people' working in the virtual and digital spheres. Since Tay and Young joined forces, it's been non-stop for IoDF. Amongst other projects, the pair and their atelier have created digital couture and allowed viewers to be transported into the world of London concept store MACHINE-A through their phones. Partnering with Auroboros, a leading player in the digital fashion sphere, makes perfect sense.
Designed primarily with the aim of democratising fashion, the Auroboros 'Venus Trap' dress is now available to try on digitally via Snapchat - challenging both the notion that high fashion is only accessible for those who can muster up enough cash, and also that digital fashion must exist online only. 'The Venus Trap dress is available to wear, the intricate detailing is wrapped around the body and mapped within AR. This brings the viewer into a collaboration with the garment itself, moving, breathing and existing as one,' says IoDF creative director and co-founder, Cattytay. Sello adds, 'We’re not just using technology to showcase physical garments, but using that as a means to an end in and of itself, made for the metaverse and physical world for limitless new possibilities.'
The collection is also advertised on numerous billboards throughout London to attract the public's attention - specifically those who may not be interested in fashion. Together with the Snapchat filter, the activation created by IoDF brings digital fashion onto the streets, blurring the lines between where URL ends and IRL begins.
‘For us we wanted to amplify the collection and start the discourse that’s been the shadow surrounding digital fashion and fashion weeks, how does it actually get to the consumer and become an experience IRL? Effectively how can we pivot from "to view" to "to wear?" It feels like the energy of LFW that died through lockdown has landed again, IRL x URL is here. It’s a first for LFW in so many ways', IoDF CEO and co-founder, Leanne Elliott Young, explains.
IoDF and Auroboros show that our experience of fashion in the traditional sense has become tired - the most heightened and immersive experiences occur in the spaces where the digital and the virtual overlap. Fashion no longer has to be seen from the front row, or experienced scrolling through images on Instagram - anyone and everyone should (and can when it comes to IoDF, could) play an active role in telling a brand's story. Auroboros might design digital fashion, however this project for LFW proves that, although inclined towards the virtual, the brand still places emphasis upon physical importance - one cannot exist without the other.
The full collection is available for purchase via DressX and the Auroboros website.
Activate the experience by scanning one of the QR codes featured on the Auroboros x #IoDF posters and billboards around London. The QR codes will then allow you to unlock the AR try-on via Snapchat. Available until 14 June.